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Canucks Skate: Take Flight with Petey, Kane Grounded, ‘Dolla Bill’ Hurt

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Off they go into the wild blue yonder, the Vancouver Canucks take flight for South Florida on Sunday to face the Panthers on Tuesday.

Dan Murphy of Sportsnet tells us this morning that Elias Pettersson is making the trip, fresh off Covid protocol. The team announced that Justin Bailey has been re-assigned to Abbotsford from the taxi squad. A very much short-handed Abby Canucks team needs bodies.

By the way, the VAN to FLA leg is the furthest any two opponents can travel to face one another in the NHL at a distance of 4,490 KM. That’s if everyone flies into Fort Lauderdale. It would be a smidge different to Miami but Vancouver still makes the longest trip. Seattle to FLL is the second longest at 4,372 KM while San Jose is 4,109.

Work the other diagonal and San Jose to Boston is the longest heading to the Northeast at 4,327 KM. That Stanley Cup Final commute in 2011; it was 4,045 KM each way.

Anyhoo, while they take off …

Let’s Skate !!

Now What?!

The latest in the many Evander Kane sagas has taken a bit of an ugly turn, and likely a legal one. The San Jose Sharks have waived the Vancouver native in an attempt to nullify the rest of his contract. The club said it was terminating the deal “for breach of his NHL standard player contract and for violation of the AHL COVID-19 protocols.” Kane, his representatives, and the NHL Players Association are expected to appeal.

Apparently it was Sheng Peng at San Jose Hockey Now who broke additional elements to the story. Nice job “Shenger”.

Kane is supposed to be paid another $5.875-million per season for the next three after this one.

Twinkle Twinkle

The Dallas Stars are on the rise. In the NHL Western Conference Wild Card playoff race they have now passed the Vancouver Canucks, 36 points to 35, with three games in hand. The Stars have won four straight games, wedged in around six postponements, including Saturday’s victory that snapped the Pittsburgh Penguins ten-game win streak. Here’s the game from the Pennsylvania perspective.

The Stars are right back at it again this afternoon in St. Louis against the Blues.

This doesn’t mean everything is honky-dory in central Texas. 29-year-old right-shot defenceman John Klingberg is complaining about his contract negotiations, feeling that he’s been disrespected by Stars General Manager Jim Nill. 

“Other guys have signed right before the season before, I wanted to do that as well,” Klingberg said, referring to Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin signing their current deals well in advance. “For me, as a player, I don’t feel that I’ve been appreciated in that way when we don’t even negotiate. It’s quiet.”

The top-pair/top-four (depending on the team) Swede from Gothenburg is wrapping up a seven year deal that paid him $4.25-million per season. It’s great value for the Stars for a D-man that has gone stretches over the years as irreplaceable. He’s probably looking at adding at least $3-million to that number in his next contract. The Stars might be thinking they can’t afford another elite D on the books.

Miro Heiskanen is a lefty that can play either side and makes $8.45-million per season through 2028-’29. By the way, five of the Stars top-6 D-men are Europeans, three of them Finns.

Wild Stuff

Minnesota Wild Head Coach Dean Evason can’t be too happy with the fact that forwards Joel Eriksson Ek and Kirill Kaprizov both went on injured reserve with upper body injuries. Though it didn’t stop the Wild from beating the Washington Capitals 3-2 in a shoot-out on Saturday.

Kaprizov suffered an injury on Thursday against Boston when he got tied up with defenceman Matt Grzelcyk and then hit by forward Trent Frederic. The young superstar has 40 points in 32 games and is the reigning Calder Trophy winner as NHL rookie of the year.

Both players will be eligible to play January 14th against the Anaheim Ducks.

By the way, I was curious what the team’s nickname was for Kaprizov, so I asked around. I was thinking “Killer” or “Kapper”. Instead, it’s “Dolla Dolla Bill Kirill”, a name created by Wild defenceman Matt Dumba. There’s definitely a money reference, and the nickname has become so popular, multiple firms are selling t-shirts.

Oh, our fun, quirky, little hockey world, Vancouver Canucks and beyond.

Enjoy the Hockey Action !!

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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